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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  January 3, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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to be twice as likely to be victims of violent crimes. i don't know how you could object to any of those things. the only explanation is a lack of personal connection to the problem. i'm confident that if the republican men of the house actually had a visceral connection to the terror of violence and rape, they would make this a priority, and don't worry, republicans, protecting a lesbian, native american, or undocumented immigrant woman from violence isn't a slippery slope to actually recognizing these people as full human beings and giving them equal protection under the law. thanks to the re-election of president obama, the supreme court will take care of that for us. all right. that does it for "the cycle." martin bashir, it's all yours. >> krystal, i agree entirely. a disgraceful sin of omission. thank you for that and thank you for joining us. good afternoon, it's thursday january 3rd, and two more years, two more years! >> the honorable john a. boehner
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of the state of ohio having received the majority of the votes cast is duly elected speaker of the house of representatives for the 113th congress. >> an absolute disaster. >> and i hope and pray that's what we will have. >> this is why the republican party is so irrelevant right now. >> i think nobody in america is going to miss the previous congress. >> has he done a good job? >> absolute, absolute failure in leadership on the republican party's side. >> the direction of the republican party that is crum e crumbli crumbling. >> has he done a good job? >> the seeds are being planted right now for the destruction of the house republican majority. >> a huge office, and you get a balcony. >> fundamentally don't understand the electorate. >> you got that callender with a different word of the day for 2013. >> i did. >> this is a party without any viable leadership. >> okay. ♪
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it is the dawn of 2013. we have a brand new 113th congress, and thankfully the day began with a congressional prayer service at st. peter's in d.c. because, as oscar wildi once sa once said, one is not getting what one wants, the other is getting it. wise words for the newly elected house speaker john boehner. despite weeks of in-fighting, a public legislative smackdown, and rumors of a coup, boehner rallied the votes and managed to retain his seat as speaker of the house. just hours ago a narrow victory of 220 votes. a handful of republican defections included votes for majority leader eric cantor and for now former and infamous congressman alan west. but they were not enough to stop mr. boehner from getting his
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hands on the gavel once again. >> this covenant makes us servants of posterity. we're sent here not to be something, but to do something. [ applause ] >> yes, mr. boehner's signature tears flowed and who can blame him? ever all, the man has just had the privilege of leading the most loathed and least productive congress in modern history. having accomplished almost nothing, the to-do list greeting the new congress includes gun control, immigration, the sequester, the debt limit, the farm bill, hurricane sandy relief, the filibuster, and the violence against women act, all items left unresolved by the last congress. but if there is much to do and much republican opposition to doing it, at least speaker boehner can take heart that expectations are firmly in the gutter. the columnist gail collins writes in today's "new york
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times," the bar is low since some people believe the departing 112th congress was the worst in history because of its stupendous lack of productivity and the favorability rating that once polled lower than the idea of a communist takeover of america. indeed, with expectations so low, at least there's no risk of anyone being disappointed. joining us now is nbc's luke russert live from capitol hill. >> welcome back, buddy. >> thank you. i'm delighted to have you with us. if you had been responsible, luke, for leading an institution to an approval rating of just 10% last year, if you were deemed to be the most disliked member of the house leadership with a net favorability rating of negative 20, if you couldn't even persuade your own colleagues to vote with you on a fiscal cliff plan "b," would you, luke, expect to be re-elected or fired?
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>> reporter: well, me personally, martin, i have the benefit of not running for the speakership of the united states -- >> that's not an answer, luke. would you expect to be re-elected or fired? >> reporter: well, i would argue that the approval rating of congress is a bipartisan approval rating, but i think what you're seeing here today that happened in washington, d.c., martin, is quite interesting. speaker boehner got very close to having to be elected speaker on a second ballot. since 1913 when the house grew to 435 members, that's only happened once, which was in 1923. we looked like -- it looked like that was going to happen today until of all people michele bachmann, who had missed the first roll call and a woman by the name of marsha blackburn who had a bloody nose came back into the chamber and were able to cast votes in favor of speaker boehner saving him from the embarrassment of being the second person since 1913 to go a second ballot. make no mistakes about it, a lot of disenfranchised and angry
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conservative members of the house republican conference spoke out today. they made a symbolic protest. it got close to being a pretty huge story. certainly significant, but moving forward you will see a different speaker boehner, one who very much will adhere to the most conservative part of his conference because, quite frankly, politically right now he needs to. >> luke, how desperate must things be for an individual like speaker john boehner to have to rely on an individual like michele bachmann? >> reporter: it's a lot different than what we saw when he first came in here. there has been protests against a leader before. in 2010 it wasn't as significant but 20 democrats voted against nancy pelosi. i think though, martin, what you're seeing, and i think what allotted of people are reporting on, is the chaos with the house republican conference that was on full display over the last ten days leading up to in fiscal cliff deal which will repeat itself no doubt in the triple crown, the debt limit, sequester and the government funding bill.
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>> absolutely. >> they're not going to roll over by any means. >> luke russert, thank you so much. >> take it easy. >> i want to bring in our new panel. nbc analyst jonathan alter, and in washington msnbc political analyst david corn. david, if i can start with you, we have had a national disaster and speaker boehner blocked and delayed a measure to provide desperately needed relief to those devastated by hurricane sandy. we've had another mass shooting. we wait to see if any action is going to be taken to address gun violence. we have had the fiscal cliff and a last-minute deal that only anticipates another fight in a few weeks. do you approach the 113th congress with any confidence or is this just going to be more of the same? >> you know, the leadership of the new congress is the same as it was. if anything, it's more fractious
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with boehner not being on the same side as his number two and number three on that key vote on the tax bill that just passed. >> see, the thing is, david, i seem to recollect a certain author detailing exactly the same kind of conflict between speaker boehner and the young guns in a book that was published called "showdown." >> well, thank you for reminding me of that. it's true, but the speaker, as i have been saying for a day or two, is a sino, a speaker in name only. he can't negotiate with the president because he can't control his own caucus. while there are a couple of tea partiers who are not returning thanks to the last election, the dynamics of the house remain the same, and i have to think that the deal that was just cut, much to the chagrin of the tea partiers in the house, will only embolden them further and have them out for blood when it comes to the debt ceiling which will make them more, if this is possible, unmanageable for
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speaker boehner in the next few weeks. >> john, isn't it time given the performance of people like eric cantor back in 2011 and mr. mccarthy and the group of young guns and what they did when speaker boehner was trying to negotiate a grand bargain with the president and they prevented him from reach an agreement and then they vote against the fiscal cliff. isn't it time for speaker boehner to confront these individuals himself? >> he did do that. he put some lesser known tea partiers in their place. he stripped them -- >> the last i heard eric cantor is still -- >> not eric cantor. the house is up for grabs. here is the good news. so for the last more than a decade, 15 years, the house of representatives on the republican side has been operating under something they call the hastert rule.
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that is named after former speaker denny hastert, and under the hastert rule, to bring a bill to the floor, the speaker needs to believe that he will get what's called a majority -- >> of the majority. >> -- of the majority. now, the fiscal cliff deal, they didn't have a majority of the majority. the hastert rule got shredded. >> what about the norquist commitment? that got shredded pretty -- >> there's a loophole on that. joosk. >> of course. >> midnight dispensation. >> that was what norquist tweeted. on this rule, what we have now is a precedent for boehner using a much smaller group of more reasonable republicans to vote with the democrats. that's what happened on the fiscal cliff. so as long as he can not go through the folly of trying to
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get back to the hastert rule and just work with the democrats, they might be able to actually get some things done. and the reason he might do it, the reason he might do it is what he was worried about is if he had lost today, he would have been the shortest serving speaker in history. >> he would. >> now at least he's got a full four years. he won't be humiliated and he might want to do some business -- >> david, do you want to challenge that analysis? >> i think he's still up for the saddest speaker in history. >> that's true. >> if not shortest term. i think john's taking what i'd call the optimistic approach. >> yes. >> he began by saying he -- there was some good news and he's given it to us. >> it's the beginning of a new year, why not? except i don't believe it. i do think the hastert rule has been broken, but they can go back to the hastert rule and i really think on the debt ceiling you have people in the house republican caucus who want chaos. think of 80 jokers running -- trying to run the house, and at
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any time they can still rebel, try to spark a rebellion against john boehner. that happened back in the gingrich days, remember? though he won election today, i think the instability, the internal instability of the house republican conference remains, and that's going to make it very tough for boehner and for the rest of us once we get to the debt ceiling where obama says he's not going to negotiate with these people. >> just to put a point of fact here, we made reference to michele bachmann earlier today, and she almost missed the vote because she was busy. and then she tweeted this out, at noon today i introduced the first bill of the 113th congress, to repeal obama care in its entirety. that's a good sign, isn't it? >> well, of course they're going it play these mickey mouse games. that's all -- >> within the first hours of the new congress. >> what do you expect, martin? we're talking about michele
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bachmann. they're going to play these stupid games, but they're irrelevant. last year in 2011 because they were coming off this big victory -- >> actually it was 2012. >> excuse me, in 2011 coming off the big midterm victories, they had some swat. michele bachmann actually, you know, had people listening to her a little bit. now they're in the ashcan of history and they're not coming back because they got all the white voters they could. there are no more of them. so they were operating under the idea that they were the real america and the minorities and everybody else were just visiting, right? that idea is now part of american history. they lost. they're on the losing side of a huge demographic change in this country. things are not going to get better for the republican party anytime soon until they start to recognize where america really is. so the reason i'm not
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optimistic -- >> very quickly, david. >> john is right in the big picture. because of gerrymandered districts, a lot of people individually are operating against the tide of history. >> and there's no incentive for any of them to change their ways. david corn, jonathan alter, thank you both. next, the boehner apologists. yes, they're out there. stay with us. >> look, bill, i mean, if he had a party and romney had a party, i'd go to his party. >> i'd go to romney's party because there would be better food at romney's party. much better catering. >> no. asional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yes! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues... with three strains of good bacteria. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'.
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shame on you, shame on congress.
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>> a new low last night. >> disgraceful. it was indefensible and immoral. >> speaker john boehner's decision to pull the plug on hurricane sandy relief was greeted by a chorus of condemnation with some of the harshest attacks coming from members of his own party. but not to worry, mr. speaker, there's always one place where you can find some shelter from the storm. take a listen. >> i think the speaker was entirely right to pull the bill. >> calm down, shut up, and listen up. >> this is not a couple hundred million dollars for some important urgent thing. >> these guys should be celebrating, that's right, celebrating. >> so give speaker boehner credit for saving $51 billion. >> these days the speaker will take credit wherever he can find it. there may be more criticism, however, when voters realize that in addition to sandy relief, the speaker also failed to reauthorize the violence against women act. let's bring in hogan gidley, former national communications director for the rick santorum presidential campaign, and karen finney, who is an msnbc analyst and a former dnc communications
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director. hogan, representative peter king of new york was perhaps the most outspoken republican yesterday. he says that thanks to speaker boehner, there are a number of republican house members representing the northeast who can pretty much kiss their seats in congress good-bye. do you sympathize with mr. king's view? >> well, he may be right. this whole situation is very odd. i just don't -- >> poor hogan. >> there are a lot of people out there who claim to know a lot about politics and the congress, but this is probably the least politically savvy move i have seen in a long time. it obviously looks very bad, and for someone like chris christie to come out and to hammer the congress, you know, raises the publicity of the action itself, not to mention the fact you're sticking it in the eye of the governor in the area that's the number one media market in the world, not to mention the fact they can pull in pennsylvania into the media coverage as well. >> so, hogan, why did the speaker do this?
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if all of that is true, hogan, and you're making perfectly sensible statements about the issue, why did the speaker do it? >> well, here is the interesting point. i think he could have -- it's funny. they're making policy and then just walking away as if we all know the rational behind it. at least come out and say, look, this bill should be about sandy and sandy alone and the people of new jersey and getting the power back on and getting the houses rebill. instead, democrats put pork onto it or whatever the argument is to make the bill unpalatable for to you vote for it. at least come out and say that. instead they vote against it, walk away, and expect the media to do we understand. expect the american people to go, i get it, that was a smart move. it looks really dumb from the outside looking in. >> karen, you wanted to respond to ha. >> first of all, hogan, i feel for you. i know this is not fun. it's even more egregious than that. the initial rationalization we got from boehner was that he didn't want to -- he didn't want to force his members to have to vote for additional spending,
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and what that says to me, obviously he was doing that i think with the calculation of today's vote and wanting to hold onto his speakership. if you can't as the speak of the house of the united states of the america say that voting to help americans in need -- i mean, you know, you have seen the devastation. we're not talking about, you know, just a little bit of cleanup here and there. we are talking about people who lost everything and who are still without homes, without their livelihoods. if that's not something that the speaker of the united states of america can't get behind, that's really disgusting. it sends a terrible message. >> karen, i have some more news for you because the sandy fiasco may have hurt people in one part of the country but they've offended women everywhere by failing to extend the violence against women act. what's the thinking behind this? >> stop, you know there's no war on women. why do you keep with that? >> i'm talking about actual acts of violence to women and
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providing protections to them. >> it's very serious. frankly, there again the rationale is really disturbing.the three provisions the republicans have opposed would involve protections for lgbt individuals, for women who are in this country illegally who we happen to know are some of the most vulnerable, and also for native american women who are abused or assaulted by nonnative men who come onto the reservations. it's really quite despicable that in in country we're not comfortable saying that abuse of any woman is not acceptable, that those three provisions are the reasons they couldn't get it done and yet it's okay to spend $1.7 million of taxpayer dollars defending doma and to my mind that means that $1.7 million of taxpayer money to depend prejudice and bias. >> the department of justice isn't even going to take action in terms of that particular bill. so that's a pointless allocation
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of money. but, hogan, there are 35 brand new house republican freshmen entering congress today, new blood always breeds new hope, of course, as you know. so let's listen to mark meadows of north carolina. here he is. >> the more we find out, the more we realize how wrong the direction we're going, and so what we're going to do is take back our country. 2012 is the time we're going to send mr. obama home to kenya or wherever it is. >> so there you go, hogan. new birther, same old birther really. >> very, very helpful for the party, let me just tell you that. it makes my job is easy to come on here and defend people like that. listen, my mama lives in north carolina. it's a great state. i don't understand commentary like that. i don't understand that type of language. i do want to take one step back about some of the things that you guys were just talking about. the violence against women act, doma, things like that, look, we can cherry pick anything out of
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this budget and try to say why don't we fund this? the violence against women act is very important, and i think we should fund it. however, we have to start to understand that we don't have any money in this country. we have to set priorities -- >> hold on, hogan, we're not even talking about money. >> listen -- >> we're not -- >> i'm just saying, look, so are school lunch programs and tuition tax credits. all those things are important. what are we going to fund? what do we have the money to pay for? >> hogan, i really wish we had that conversation in 2001 when the funding of two wars was planned and executed by republicans, but i'm afraid we've run out of time. hogan gidley and karen finley, thank you so much. coming up, 20 women in the senate, a potential run by secretary clinton. will 2016 be the year the glass is shattered? stay with us. c'mon dad! i'm here to unleash my inner cowboy... instead i got heartburn. [ horse neighs ] hold up partner. prilosec isn't for fast relief.
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stay with us. the day's "top lines" are tomming up.
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from a new do nothing congress to chris christie's furious game of phone tag. here are today's "top lines." apologies? me? never. >> congress is heading back to their favorite place to vacation, congress. >> you're now a member of the 113th congress. >> there's only one group to blame, the house of representatives majority and their speaker. >> i would love for someone to replace him, but who? >> any one of them right now is a slave to this group of hard right people. >> it was disappointing and disgusting. >> i don't trust eric cantor. >> this was the speaker's decision. >> republicans have no problem finding new york when it comes to raising money. >> that's why people hate washington. i was giving no explanation. >> if you're there, pick up, pick up. >> i was called at 11:20 last
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night. >> we're having quite a game of phone tag. >> i called the speaker four times last night. >> i was blow droying my hair. >> he did not take my calls. >> there's huge news john boehner will announce he's resigning. >> john boehner, speaker of the house. >> we're here to do something. >> how can you vote for a speaker who has a dismissive and cavalier attitude? >> if we're going to carry grudges for the rest of our lives, we'll never get anything done. >> we have two trampolines here, let's start jumping around. >> every time i'm on your program you should listen to my phone call. >> i do admire your jobs. you could be a beauty queen. >> you were friends with o.j. simpson. >> here we go. >> did you know he was going to be liable? >> we had some pretty aggressive things at the beginning of this debate.
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>> hillary has severe benghazi allergy. >> she's the first reported case and it's a very, very severe one. >> i have no apology to make. perhaps the state department if not apologize ought to explain why it with houstonstheld information. >> let's get to our panel now. joy reid is the managing editor of the lili gil valletta is a hispanic market expert, and ryan grim is in our d.c. bureau and he's the chief -- sorry, he's the chief d.c. bureau head for "the huffington post." sorry, ryan. but i'll begin with joy if i may. we learned just an hour ago that hillary clinton is calling in to meetings trying to get back to work. meanwhile, the conspiracy theorists who claimed she was faking a concussion and a head injury now say, as you just heard, that they have nothing to apologize for. >> yeah. >> so i guess in their world
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they're still right. is that correct? >> you know, and i have to say i think charles krauthammer, between him and john bolton probably said the despicable thing of the year last year. when a woman is obviously ill, knotts well, to accuse her of faking and making up this illness just so she didn't have to testify about something which there is no evidence she did anything wrong and hillary clinton has no reason to -- >> he referred to her contracting a severe case of benghazi allergy. >> rather than being embarrassed when it turns out she's being treated for a serious condition, rather than take it back and do the manful thing, they double down on it and insist it still is some conspiracy where there has been no evidence of one. >> right. you see, we had someone on here yesterday who proposed the idea that john boehner was going to be ousted as speaker, and when he didn't, we made it clear towards the end of our broadcast that he was talking nonsense. the speaker issued a statement, and we made a correction. why don't certain individuals on certain networks feel obliged to do so when they were smeared the
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reputation of one of this country's finest public servants? >> this comes from the neocon wing that has been wrong about every major foreign policy issue in the last generation. these were the geniuses who said it was wisdom who invade iraq. they never admit they are wrong. and now when an issue like libya where many of them took the side of the dictator, they have been wrong about everything, wrong about egypt, wrong about libya. rather than ever admit they are wrong, they just simply double down. it's what they do. >> ryan, john bolton actually has proposed a new theory, that the tight control of information about the secretary of state's condition had something to do with a possible 2016 run. what is it about a potential president hillary clinton that drives the right to such bouts of, i guess, paranoid lunacy? >> right. that's a simple deflection. sure, she is certainly considering running in 2016. there's no question about that. she hasn't ruled it out and
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she's taking, you know, the kinds of steps you would need to take to run because that's what you do until you decide you're not going to run. but him pointing that out is ridiculous. it has nothing to do with her fainting and hitting her head. i think what's going on here is partly just your standard ignorance. they just didn't understand that if you faint, your body becomes dead weight and you hit your head on the floor from that height, it can be extremely dangerous. so, you know, it shouldn't have been surprising to anybody who knows somebody who has had that happen to them or has had it happen to them personally that you could get a concussion and be out of work for a little while, not be able to testify before congress. but i think the other point is that they kind of construct a fantasy land and if you're constructing a fantasy land it requires a sort of absolute suspension ever disbelief and so you can't admit any error. the minute you start admitting error, then the whole thing starts to criminalble. >> right.
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lily, what's your reaction to the animosity that people have expressed toward the secretary of state? >> it's very unfortunate when we cross the lines from not finding anything factual. when you look at her since '90, '92, she's been in the spotlight and she's contributed and become an icon for many women. >> she's the most highly respected woman according to gallup poll. >> above the first lady, above oprah winfrey, above queen elizabeth. >> that's not especially difficult to be honest. >> but still it's still a very admirable woman. if those facts and figures no longer work towards your benefit to try to find something wrong with her as a potential presidential candidate, let's look at something else. it's really sad we've lost that line between politics and the games of politics and games that could impact lives and character and that's very unfortunate. >> joy, i want to turn to the new number, a record-breaking
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number. 1 in 5 senators are now women. more than 100 house members and senators are women. that's almost double the number 20 years ago in the 103rd congress. what kind of effect do you think that will have on the general tenor of both chambers? >> well, you know, i think first of all, i think it's a shame in the 21 century we see in 5 as bei -- 1 in 5 as being progress. >> there we are. >> because the democratic party also plans to make their women very prominent, you have had women like dianne feinstein, that you're going to have more of the voices speaking for government be women. i think that can only help. because right now government is at a real nader, a at a real low ebb, in terms of trust and people's esteem. i'm hoping a lot of di ni fid voices will sort of raise the overall esteem.
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>> ryan, i want to play something jon huntsman told a british newspaper this week. take a listen to this. >> we can't be known as a party that is fear-based, that doesn't believe in math. >> now, ryan, the gop does have a math problem, and here it is. of the gop's 35 freshmen seated today, 32 are men, but only 3 are women. they also didn't have a woman chairing a committee until they were embarrassed into it. have you seen any evidence that they understand that they do have a math problem? >> well, you know, they do understand it intellectually. they recognize it, and -- >> so does that mean they just don't care about addressing it? >> well, i think it's hard for them to address it because they didn't get to the place that they're in by accident. you know, nixon's southern strategy, it was based on
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race-baiting. it was an attempt to drive out the working class white vote and there was a lot of kind of bracism underlying that. if you think of willy horton and beyond. so it's not like they got to where they are accidentally. so they fired up this base of people. now moving away from that is going to prove to be difficult. you know, how do you pick up the latino vote when you have this strong grassroots faction of your party that wants them all deported? when your presidential candidate was backing self-deportation, they have a huge problem and it's going to be highlighted more when they move to immigration reform this month. you know, you're going to see some republicans trying to work on a bill but you're going to see a lot of others saying absolutely not, refusing to work with it, and some will probably inevitably say offensive stuff that will make headlines and it will just reinforce the negative image. >> right.
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lily is agreeing with everything you just said. >> there's two points i want to make. we can't be complacent with where we are with women. the u.s. ranks 78th in the world in female representation and in public office. so that's embarrassing. being a super power that we are, we're ranking 74th. when it comes to the gop or democrats alike, there's a math issue on both sides. so i want to be a little bit fair because the gop does have latino and women representation as governors that gets used as a number to show and democrats a lot more in other offices, but it's still disproportionate. we have to fix that so we get the right mindset making decisions that we need for the new base of america which looks different than what they look like. >> very quickly, ryan. >> there isn't a single african-american democrat in the senate so, you know, that speaks for itself. >> that's true. joy reid, lili gil valletta, and ryan grim, thank you all.
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as students return to newtown a look at the number of americans killed by gun in the last 24 hours. marie callender's. it's time to savor.
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while john boehner exhales after narrowly winning another term as speaker, president obama is continuing his holiday in hawaii. for more we go to nbc's kristin welker who is with the president in the 50th state. kristin, good afternoon, and i understand that you have some up-to-date information on the president making phone calls on the opening of this 113th congress. what do you have? >> reporter: hi, martin, good afternoon. it is tradition for the president to call the leaders of the house during the first day of the new congress, so that is what the president did. he called majority leader eric cantor and democratic leader nancy pelosi, spoke with them today according to a senior administration official, congratulated them on the new congress, and wished everyone well. and, martin, it's important to point out again this is a part of a long-standing tradition. president obama here on vacation, but as we always report, the office of the white house travels with him. so making that obligatory phone call today back to washington,
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d.c. >> now, kristin, the speaker says that he's not going to work one-on-one with the president anymore. so what is the white house's strategy in the light of those comments with regard to the debt ceiling fight? >> reporter: well, i have been speaking to senior administration officials about this very topic, and one person tells me that part of their strategy has already begun to move forward, which is to say that they broke republicans on this issue of taxes. this is the first issue the republicans have agreed to raise taxes in more than a generation. so the white house feels as though the president is on stronger footing moving forward in that regard. i think you also saw the president start to lay out the second part of his strategy, which is to basically take a tough tone with republicans. he said i'm not going to negotiate with them. i wouldn't be surprised, martin, when he gets back to d.c., if he does not launch a public campaign, basically try to get the public on his side on this issue, that he's not going to
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have a long, drawn out battle with republicans over increasing the debt limit. having said that, the republicans see this as their huge bargaining chip. they are preparing to dig in their heels. president obama wanted sort of a permanent increase of the debt limit as a part of this fiscal cliff bill that just passed. he didn't get it, so republicans think that that is their one strong bargaining chip moving forward. they are preparing for a big fight. martin, i would not be surprised if this turns into yet another long, drawn out battle. >> i understand that the president has now signed the fiscal cliff deal, but how did he do that, kristin, if he's not in washington? >> reporter: right. well, he used an auto pen, martin, which is basically an automatic pen that can replicate the president's signature. here is how it went down yesterday. the president was in the middle of a game of golf and about that time back in d.c. the house delivered the fiscal cliff bill to the white house. the president reviewed a copy of
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that legislation and then ordered for it to be signed into law with the auto pen. this is the third time that the president has used the auto pen to sign a bill into law. the first two times he was overseas. now, some people have questioned the constitutionality of this approach, but white house officials tell me that under a 2005 finding by the justice department, it is completely within the letter of the law. so this is his first time signing a law on domestic soil using the auto pen. >> so the president there multitasking, playing golf and signing bills as well. nbc's kristin welker, thank you so much. stay with us. we'll have much more ahead. aspirin, really? i haven't thought about aspirin for years. aspirin wouldn't really help my headache, i don't think. aspirin is just old school. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain. but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin.
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the students of sandy hook elementary school returned to classes today for the first time since 20 of their classmates and 6 staff members were shot and
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killed last month. a short time after they arrived at a converted middle school in the nearby town of monroe, the governor of connecticut announced the formation of a commission to study the gun and ammunition laws in his state. >> you don't need a 30-round clip to go hunting. you don't need a 30-round clip to honor the constitution of the united states, and i think it's time we have a realistic discussion about the weapons that are being used time and time again in these mass casualty situations. >> i'm joined now by managing editor of the grio, joy reid. joy, i want to take a look at another 24-hour cycle in america's relationship with firearms. this morning in detroit, a cab driver was shot and killed and his passenger wounded. in hawaii two police officers were shot and wounded and a manhunt is under way. in houston a woman was hospitalized after being hit twice in a drive-by shooting. in tallahassee, florida, a
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22-year-old man was shot dead in a parking lot late last night. and in cob county, georgia, a 23-year-old mon was killed by a gunshot and the last goes on and on and on. is this not continuing evidence for why this day, the 113th congress starting today, is this not clear evidence yet again for why something needs to be done, an action needs to be taken? >> a lot of way it's evidence action needs to be taken and it's a tragic reminder of why it never is. these kind of crimes have become so routine, there's almost a banality to all the carnage taking place unless it takes place all at one time as you saw happen at sandy hook elementary. americans' conscious, it takes a lot to shock them. you could go to chicago on any given day, they have had 500 gun deaths, gun shootings, murders. >> 500. >> cities like philadelphia and miami, states that are having this kind of carnage but it's doled out over a course of days
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or weeks as opposed to in a single day. i think the worry here though is that there isn't enough -- as much as people are horrified by what you just read and by these crimes, where is the collective will of congress to get this done? where would john boehner, for instance, get the 218 votes that he would need to pass common sense gun legislation in the house of representatives? i'm not sure i see the 218 votes. >> and yet we have breaking news that one former congresswoman is actually doing something rather special tomorrow. what do we have on that? >> absolutely. so the governor's office, governor malloy in connecticut, has confirmed and nbc news -- we were just looking at this in our notes before we came on, that gabby giffords, one of the most famous shooting victims obviously in recent american history, will be traveling to connecticut tomorrow. she'll be in newtown. so i mean it's a powerful symbol to bring together gabby giffords, to bring her to newtown, but i'm not sure if even symbolism can overcome what is an intractable gun lobby that
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doesn't want to see any legislation changed and members of congress who are districted in and they're insulated from public opinion. unless you can get at those red state, let's face it, conservative republicans who are insulated from ever losing election by taking common sense positions like this, i'm not sure you can pass it. >> and yet the president has pledged himself to do something. >> he has, indeed. the president said he wants it this month. in the month of january. he's going to mention it in the state of the union. he's going to bring to bear all the moral force of the office of the presidency and we'll see if that can actually get something done. i'm not that hopeful to be honest with you, but if there was ever a chance, it would be this month. ja let's hope so. joy reid, thank you for joining us and we'll be right back. er c. instead i got heartburn. [ horse neighs ] hold up partner. prilosec isn't for fast relief. try alka-seltzer. kills heartburn fast. yeehaw!
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it's thyime now to "clear t air." an increasing number of american workers have to go through something called an appraisal process every single year. companies want to ensure that
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their workers are performing, and so they submit us to a process of self and company examination assessing whether we've achieved certain goals. it's a shame that patriot ses never applies to our elected officials and the speaker of the house in particular because just a short time ago representative john boehner was re-elected as speaker of the house, which seems to be a classic case of rewarding an abject failure. speaker boehner has led the how many times during its most dysfunctional and disagreeable performance in recent history. this gallup survey reveals that speaker boehner has managed to take public approval of congress to record lows during his first term, scoring an approval rating of just 10% during the last year. and if that wasn't bad enough, the house speaker, according to one polling organization, now ranks as the most disliked member of the house leadership. 51% of likely voters


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